KATHMANDU, April 22: The US has urged the government and the private sector of Nepal for maximum utilization of new duty-free tariff benefits by increasing exports of products granted preferential access by Trade Preferences Act for Nepal (TPA).
Speaking at an interaction on ‘Max Trade USA, Nepal Trade Preferences Program Explained’ organized by the US Embassy along with the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Ministry of Commerce in Kathmandu on Friday, Mark Linscott, Assistant US Trade Preference Representative, said that he was hopeful that Nepal would benefit from the new duty-free tariff on some selected products.
The embassy organized the Max Trade USA as part of its initiatives to bring together a wide variety of economic actors to learn more about the new duty-free program, what products qualify, and how to use this program to boost business in Nepal. The Nepal-specific trade preference program that came into effect on December 30, 2016 is authorized until 2025, and is intended to help Nepal’s economic recovery from the 2015 earthquakes, according to a statement of the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The trade preference program under the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) grants new duty-free tariff benefits for certain Nepali exports to the United States, including certain types of carpets, bags, headgear, shawls, scarves, leather and travel goods.
Also speaking at the program, Alaina B Teplitz, the US ambassador to Nepal, said that the trade preference program extended by the US to Nepal will deepen the economic ties between the two countries. “The economic pillar of our bilateral relationship is strong and getting stronger,” said Teplitz. “The trade preferences program for Nepal is a way to forge deeper economic connections between the two countries,” she added.
Speaking at the program, Minister for Commerce Romi Gauchan Thakali urged the US government to expand the basket of products under this program. Noting that the US is the largest economy of the world, he also vowed to facilitate trade between the two countries so that Nepali manufacturers can benefit from the vast US market.
Similarly, FNCCI President Bhawani Rana said that the private sector was excited by the new benefits offered by the US government. “One of the biggest challenges is to identify the buyers there and match the buyers and sellers between the two countries. There is a need to establish business to business contact between the two countries for accessing the market of the US,” she added.